called in

Today I had another study day mixed with a bit of a packing day until I had a phonecall from Neil asking if I could take the 1.00pm Eucharist as the priest scheduled to do this was unwell.

To be honest I did not hesitate at the opportunity as I still see this as quite a privilege to be able to do – and the last time I did a week day Eucharist I made a mistake by forgetting to pray – I remembered to do that today. But …. because I had not presided in the Lady Chapel before I could not find where the chalice and paten had been placed. I could see the purificators, bread and wine … but I needed Ben (thanks) to discreetly point for me. Just a little embarrassing but I hope it did not distract from the worship too much. At that point in the service the rain was smashing onto the cathedral roof which I think distracted people from my failings.

Again it felt very very odd just taking wine myself and only giving bread to everyone else – I know God is fully present in however we celebrate and so I find it interesting that I am developing a bit of a hang up about this. Maybe if we did not consecrate wine at all the issue would not be as intense in my mind.

All that aside, to share communion with the other 5 people present this afternoon was a joy. It’s a special experience which I am finding really hard to explain.

Being in the lady chapel rather than the crypt meant we were far more public. People were passing outside and putting their heads in to look for a while. I gestured to invite them in, most declined. It led me to wonder what people passing make ofthis service; do they see it as a pointless ritual, or some quaint custom? I don’t know, and most had gone by the time we had finished. It would be interesting to know what visitors thought and so I am going to think about how I might be able to achieve this.

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One thought on “called in

  1. Don't mention it Rob. It can be a bit confusing in the Lady Chapel as there are 2 credence tables. Also you're not the only person developing a hang up about the current Communion issues. I was reading the online version of the Church Times and it was showing in there the many different ways that bishops and clergy have responded to the edict from the Archbishops. Since you first read it out last Friday morning I felt at the time that denying the wine meant that even receiving Our Lord can't save you from contracting Swine Flu. As far as I'm concerned if you believe that Jesus is truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament (which I do) then how can something so pure and holy harm you? I can almost hear Jesus saying now "O ye men of little faith".

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